Gum Disease, Tooth Decay & Biological Dentistry

“The problems in your mouth are a reflection of your body”

     Dr. Alvin Danenberg     

Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Dr. Al Danenberg about gum disease, tooth decay & biological dentistry.

Can diet alone improve existing gum disease? For over four decades, nutritional periodontist Dr. Al Dananberg has treated and prevented gum disease in his patients with little to no pain. His simple nutritional and lifestyle changes will help you improve your dental health and well-being.

In this episode, Dr. Dananberg talks about common dental problems and how to avoid them. He also shares methods to maintain a clean mouth while discussing the differences between good and bad plaque. Listen to the end, for advice on which grains are the healthiest and how to eliminate food cravings.

For additional perspectives from Dr. Danenberg on Oral Health, see his guest blog article here.

Listen to episode 30 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.

iTunes Dr. Veronica's Wellness Revolution

30: Show Notes

Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:



Holistic dental Association

International Academy of oral Medicine and Toxicology

International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine

Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry


Show notes:

01:30 – Finding 5 cavities

09:00 – Adult dental problems

11:00 – Prehistoric skeleton remains & chronic disease

13:30 – Re-mineralizing your teeth

16:45 – Teeth grinding

19:45 – Daily clean brushing

22:05 – Healthy and pathogenic plaque

23:00 – Proper flossing

27:30 – Food, diet & grain

34:30 – Rice, quinoa & bread

40:00 – Reduced cravings

42:40 – Exercise routine


Full Transcript:

Female VO: Welcome to the Welcome Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex and relationships.  Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental and spiritual health in their lives.  If you would like to have access to our entire back catalogue visit for instant access.  And here is your host Dr. Veronica.

Veronica: Thanks again for joining me for Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution.  Today it’s going to be something that is new and dear to us.  This is something that we all see when we look at people and my husband is obsessed with this.  We are talking about teeth.  And I say my husband is obsessed because he is always looking at how white somebody’s teeth are and how good somebody’s teeth look.  So let me just introduce to you Dr. Al Dananberg who is a functional, I am going to call him a functional dentist.  And you are saying what’s a functional dentist?  He helps people who feel like their dentists have failed them and you know what, in the United States today the field of dentistry is failing a lot of us.  So I am going to give a little bit about the background of my story with dental health.

So I grew up, I went to the dentists regularly, I have been a healthy person and I never had any cavities or anything. Then I get to medical school and go through training, I go to the dentist, I am good, maybe I have one cavity by this moment in time.  I am in my medical training, I have two kids, I miss going to the dentist for a few years, I go in, they tell me I have five cavities.  Now I feel nothing, I haven’t felt anything but I am horrified as you would be because I went from having this beautiful teeth, beautiful mouth, no cavities to five.  And I felt guilty and everything like that.  There are several things that happened to me that might account for those cavities.  You know, I went to medical school, you are eating funny and everything like that.  Yeah, I had kids and all those hormonal changes, yeah I had been shut up because I have been, you know, there is a lot of things that can happen that could explain this.  But, let me just tell you, during these times when I was having these cavities in my mouth I wasn’t having any pain or symptoms or anything like that.  I didn’t go to the dentist because I was having a problem.  I went because I was going for my check up that I hadn’t been for a few years and I was like here we go.  So we find all these, they start drilling and bla, bla.  While all these is happening down the line is one of those teeth ends up painful and a problem and I end up having a root canal and yadda, yadda, yadda, it was problem, problem, problem. It ends up being extracted and then I end up getting an implant, bla, bla, bla.  So, which was a big ordeal, very traumatic and lots of money, oh, my god, lots of money.  And let me just tell you when I had this problem where I was going through this implant and all this other type of stuff.  My marriage fell apart, it was a very stressful hard time in my life, I was also training in running a marathon, my tooth hurt like hell.  It was just, everything that could come together that makes your body fall apart, it was happening in my mouth in this one particular side.

So once I had that done then I said ok, well, you know, I can’t have this happen again, I am going to stay close to dentists and go. So I go to the dentist and I wasn’t necessarily having symptoms or anything like that.  Sometimes I had, I had a problem with my wisdom teeth, I said, we are pushing up some there was a little discomfort and so a guy decides that he wants to extract one of my wisdom teeth, he can’t get is out of my mouth.  He leaves part of it in my jaw, I forgot to tell about that piece of it.  And I wished I should just let the little tiny bit of the discomfort I had because it was pushing through like, after this guy tried to extract it, it was a nightmare.  So I left it there and I wasn’t going to do anything like it because I wasn’t having symptoms, yet when the x-ray came along you could see the stuff going on there.  I wasn’t having symptoms though, so I said I am not doing anything and this was a horrible experience.  So I go to my routine dentist and she would start finding things on me even though I wasn’t having any symptoms and so she is like you got some decay, you have this da da da, not having any symptoms but a good person that I am, diligent person I am about my health she says I have got decay, I need something done, I am going to get it done, right?  Makes sense? I am not having any symptoms or any problems.  Well, I just got tired of it, I said there has got to be another way, I am not getting anymore dental work.  So the last time I went in, she said there is some decay right there, under that caps you have there, well, what do I have to do about this?  Well, I have got to take of the cap and I have got to do the decay, and I have got to drill and we need to make a new crown, bla, bla, bla, and that will be twenty five hundred dollars.  Now, anyway, she told me this and I was like, alright, I guess this is what I have to do, I guess.  But, I wasn’t convinced, something was eating at me thoroughly, something was eating at me and telling me, I know there is another way, I don’t even feel anything, so why am going to have my mouth drilled, when you see a little shadow on the x-ray, there has got to be another way.

And so I went searching. Now here I am, functional medicine doctor, in the circle, looking at all these discussions including with a gentleman who is Dr. Al Dananberg, a functional dentist, integrated, periodontist yadda, yadda, yadda, who I used to read his interesting post because he is very knowledgeable and I said wait one second, after reading this, I have to, when I found there was another way to deal, whether I needed to understand about me and there was another way to deal with my dental issues other than drilling especially because these are x-ray findings.  I was just like, oh, my god, I am upset because I feel like I have stuff in my mouth that could be causing other symptoms in my body I should have never had and then I was just a bank, chi ching chi ching to everybody. I wised up and said there has got to be another way.  So I want people to know another way to deal with their teeth other than getting drilled and getting more and more miserable, getting their jaws falling apart.  I mean, my gums are fine, I have one dentist who I go and he used to clean me all the time, he said you have got beautiful teeth, you have got beautiful teeth, I switched and then all of a sudden my teeth weren’t so beautiful.  There was decay and decay, I so now I don’t trust anybody.  So I said, I am going to that guy, you going with those Facebook groups and listen to people that don’t know nothing, we are having Facebook groups so I have got a bunch of brilliant people and I bring them on my show. So Dr. Al Dananberg, dentist, periodontist, integrative specialist, teaching the rest of dentist how to do dentistry differently.  Welcome to the Wellness Revolution.

Al: Well, what an introduction, oh, my god.  I need to tell you right up front, I can’t diagnose Skype or Zoom or whatever but we need to talk, I mean we need to talk about what is really going on and you know the problems in your mouth are a reflection of your body and it’s not that the mouth has infection and it’s going into your body, it’s more that something is happening in your body and it’s affecting your mouth and once it affects your mouth then a terrible cycle starts to begin and what happens in the mouth affects the body and what’s happening in the body affects the mouth and it just goes on and on.

Veronica: So when I started really reading about this and I hadn’t read a lot about teeth and we go through medical school and we get such rudimentary about teeth.  I knew that it reflected on the rest of the body and can cause all kinds of problems but it never dawned on me when I had and, I mean, I have had some problems at particular times but a lot of it I will tell you was a symptomatic, something somebody saw on the x-ray.  And I started reading and probably could have been managed more conservatively especially somebody like me who I am doing particular protocols on my body and different supplements but it might have told you something about my nutritional state, I looked and said, you know, I need more of this, just reading it I said, I know I need more this and that, just evaluate it was easy for me to kind of evaluate and say where I was falling short after I started knowing some of the background.  Now it might not be so easy for people who don’t have any medical background to do it.  So where should people start?  Let’s talk about the adult having dental problems.  Where should they start?

Al: Okay, first of all if you are having a dental problem you don’t necessarily have to know it because like your experience, dental decay and gum disease doesn’t have to hurt and it doesn’t have to show itself obviously until much more of the disease manifests itself.  That’s the problem. Where you start is actually way, way back and that has to do with eating a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory diet. Okay, now you have the problem, I understand and if you have the problem, eating a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory diet is not going to solve your problem.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be there to hurt later on.  Right now, it’s like you have a splinter in your finger, you know, if you have a splinter in your finger it’s obvious, it hurts, it’s sore, you know what to do.  I don’t even have to tell you but I will, you will take a pair of tweezers, you will remove the splinter and the skin will heal. You can take a million of antibiotics, you can be holistic, you can do all kinds of herbs but if you don’t remove the splinter it stays sore, it festers and it will not heal.  You take the splinter out, you don’t do anything else other than maybe you are going to clean your finger, it’s fine, it heals.  The splinter in the mouth causing gum disease is generally bacteria that has accumulated that is out of balance.  Your mouth is loaded with bacteria, most of the bacteria is healthy, some of it is not but it’s in balance, it’s supposed to be in balance.  As a matter of fact if you remove some pathogenic bacteria it will get even more disease because pathogenic bacteria is in balance with the healthy bacteria.  And that goes back centuries and centuries, as a matter of fact researchers have taken DNA samples, prehistoric skeletal remains, from twenty to ten thousand years ago and they can identify the bacteria that was in existence in those days and it’s the same as it is today.  But, those skeletons did not have dental decay or gum disease because you could see that on the teeth or in the bone because the bacteria were in balance.  Dental plaque is healthy, generally, but when we eat the wrong foods and we are stressed and we have oxidative stress from running marathons every weekend lady, that can affect

Veronica: I stopped that

Al: I know, oh, good. That can affect the gut bacteria then the gut bacteria affects the mouth bacteria and it goes out of balance which is called dysbiosis and then once it’s out of balance all hell breaks loose.  So you can get gum disease, you can get tooth decay.  So the secret is to balance the bacteria in your gut and the way to do that eat nutrient dense anti-inflammatory foods and control stress and exercise effectively and sleep effectively, restoratively. All these have an effect on the bacteria in your body and this is what creates chronic disease in all of us.  We are a society with chronic disease that is damaging the quality of our life once we get to thirty or forty years old we are going downhill.  Our primal ancestors that lived seventy, eighty years old didn’t even have chronic diseases, they just dropped dead.  Primal societies today that eat a healthy diet stay strong and healthy and then their body breaks down and they die in a few days or weeks but they don’t have chronic disease for decades, we do, and it’s because of our lifestyle.

Okay, so, now you went to the dentist.  A person goes to the dentist and they find that they are having, their dentist is telling them because of an x-ray you have some decay.  It doesn’t hurt but you have some decay.  What do you do?  Well, a lot of dentists are going to say, we are going to drill and fill and eventually bill you something because of the procedure.  Now, that’s traditional dentistry and that may be necessary but there is another way.  The other way if first of all to make sure your mouth is clean.  I am not saying antibacterial clean, you don’t want to use mouthwashes to kill all the natural bacteria.  You want to be able to clean your mouth to remove the excess plaque that is not healthy.  You want to eat foods that are going to help nutritionally remineralize your teeth.  Your mouth always has the ability because of healthy plaque to change the acidity around the tooth and remineralize the tooth, reduce and eliminate decay.  So you need to eat foods that are high in trace minerals.  These are for example seaweeds and green leafy vegetables.  These are the things that will help.  It will not solve the problem but it will help.

Once the dentist looks at your mouth and he sees maybe early decay and you change your diet you can naturally remineralize your teeth and that is one of the things that you can do in the early stages.  If you have gum infection where you have some bleeding or bad odors in your mouth that are from the bum tissues, if you start changing your diet and cleaning your mouth appropriately you can reverse this disease.  If there is deep tartar under the gum just like the splinter in your finger that I explained, that can be removed by a good hygienist that understands how to do it properly, non-surgically then it sets you up to be healthy again then when you have this healthier diet you can prevent this disease from coming back.

Now, let’s say you have gone a little bit further and the disease is more progressive, it’s breaking down through the enamel of the tooth and it’s going into some of the structures of the tooth that are involved with the nerve or the pulp.  That gets pretty hairy because this is a situation where it’s going to progress.  You can’t do some kind of an herbal product that’s going to change it.  Interestingly enough, and there was just a paper that was just published early 2017, right now, that talked about some research that has been done in England which is very exciting, they are using certain types of enzymes on carton pallets that they are putting into decayed areas and it’s creating stem cells to come from the pulp, the nerve of the tooth, into the decayed area and it’s remineralizing the tooth.  It’s regrowing new, what’s new dentin.  You can never grow enamel but it’s growing new dentin.  Fascinating stuff.  It’s not here yet but that is really fascinating.  There are some chemicals that you can put that will kill the bacteria and help stop the decay.  But these chemicals are caustic to the body, I don’t necessarily recommend them.  But there are chemicals that you can be putting in.  Unfortunately if there is decay especially under a cap and it’s hidden, it’s going to continue to grow and it’s going to continue to damage the tooth.  Unfortunately that’s is the situation where the crown has to be removed, decay has scooped out and then the teeth has to be re-prepared for another cap or something.  These are procedures that need to be done when the disease is so far advanced.  But there are ways to prevent that or remineralize or protect the tooth in its early stages.

Another factor that can damage your tooth is gritting and grinding your teeth, I am getting the signs that you have a type A personality.  I am not sure but I think you do.  So you probably grit and grind your teeth or most people that are aggressive or they are stressed will grit and grind their teeth, not all the time.  Mainly when they sleep at night.  When you grit or grind your teeth you wiggle the tooth and when you wiggle the tooth, you wiggle the bone and you can set up an environment where the bone breaks down and it’s more susceptible to gum disease as well as tooth decay.  So if you are a grinder, there are some ways to help protect the grinding, you can get a bite guard that’s relatively inexpensive from the drug store, you can go to a dentist and they can make a customized bite guard for you.  If the teeth are bumping too hard because of anatomical defect or maybe a tooth that was filled improperly, that’s not healing properly, a good dentist that knows what they are doing can correct that.  There are different dentists out there, you know we are all trained by the same dental societies or whatever, dental schools but we have become more holistic, we are biological after we have gotten out of dental school.  And there are organizations where your listeners could actually go to and put in their zip code and they can find a holistic dentist or a biological dentist and there is a bio a medic dentistry which is a form of dentistry where they use filling materials that are more gentle to the tooth, they don’t expand like metals, they don’t contract like composites and there are ways to correct the problems are more advanced.  But, the important thing is to get a hand on it before it happens or if it’s in its early stages and reverse the whole process. That makes sense?

Veronica: Okay, yes, so now most people when they have gotten along in life, before you realize there is another way all this stuff has happened because I am just personally suspicious that a lot of these things that happened to me could have been managed another way but I wasn’t told ever.  And it’s not what dentists are taught in dental school, just like we expect our doctors to know about nutrition and supplements and all that.  We are just not that in medical school, you have to go get extra training.  So let’s step back a little bit because everyday people clean their teeth, most of them and I started reading about teeth cleaning and realizing that maybe the way we are cleaning our teeth is not the best way to clean the teeth.  So first let’s talk about daily or a regiment of teeth cleaning that is holistic and works for maintaining the teeth.

Al: Perfect.  So I don’t believe in chemicals and toxic substances to put in my mouth or to put on my skin and certainly not to eat.  So what I would recommend and it is very simple, I like an electric toothbrush because it’s more efficient, I am lazy. So an electric toothbrush is easier for me.  If you are going to use a hand toothbrush, you want one with softer bristles, most of the bristles today are soft bristle brushes.  And I would take the toothbrush and have two little containers in your bathroom.  One is going to have coconut oil and the other is going to have baking soda.  Now, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you can take your toothbrush and dab it into the coconut oil and then dab it into the baking soda, not baking powder, baking soda.  And that you can use as a toothpaste.  Now, the benefit of coconut oils is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, to an extent, it’s not going to kill everything, it’s just going to get a more homier static or balance level in your mouth, great stuff.  The baking soda tends to neutralize acids in your mouth and it has somewhat of whitening effect and it is the least abrasive natural substance you can put in your mouth.  Every toothpaste on the market has more abrasiveness than just baking soda.  So not a problem. So you take the toothbrush, dip it in the coconut oil, dip it in the baking soda and then put it in the area in the mouth.  Now, you want to put it where the gum meets the tooth.   That’s where all the bacteria is.  Now let’s think about, for example, imagine where the wall in room needs to flow, there is like crack where the wall meets the floor.  That crevasse will accumulate all the dust that is in the room.  So if you want to clean that crevasse you will take maybe a scrub brush and put it into that crevasse at a 45 degree angle, move it horizontally and you will scrub the dirt and the dust out.  So you want to take the toothbrush into the gums face at a 45 degree angle and clean horizontally all around your mouth, all the cheek side and the tongue side roof side of your teeth.  That’s going to remove the excess bacteria plaque.  You are not going to eliminate the plaque because you don’t want to.  You don’t want to kill the plaque because that’s what maintains the proper acid around the tooth, it also maintains the minerals that remineralize the tooth. It also has a lot of other constituents that kill a lot of the bad stuff.  So healthy plaque is important.

Veronica: Okay, so, we have all been taught that plaque is bad, they say you have plaque and you are like you have plaque, and you feel like, oh, my god, I have plaque.

Al: There is healthy plaque and there is pathogenic plaque.  Most of us have pathogenic plaque because we don’t know what we are doing.  We are eating all the wrong foods that are making the bacteria in the mouth overgrow with the bad stuff and now our plaque is not healthy.  But our primal ancestors had very healthy plaque.  There are some great studies, if we had time I want to tell you a story that was phenomenal, it was published in 2009.  But, let me just go on how to clean your mouth.

So, you are going to clean your mouth with this brush at a 45 degree angle in the gum surface on the cheek side and the tongue on the bottom and on the top.  Now you have to clean between the teeth, everybody talks about dental floss, probably not so effective.  There are better ways to clean between the teeth and one better way is a little tiny brush that cleans between the teeth.  It’s very very tiny, it looks like a toothpick but it’s not.  Toothpicks are not good but this has many many micro fibers, so when you clean between the teeth there is a lot of surface area it cleans and it feels good.

Veronica: What is the brush called and where do we get something like that.

Al: There is a company called Gum and they make this brush and it’s called a soft pick.  They make two different sizes and you use it between the teeth.  So you go between the teeth back and forth scrubbing it, you need to feel it at the gum line between every tooth.  If you do that, brushing like I said with the toothbrush and use the soft picks then you can use the floss just to break through the contacts, it may be a piece of meal or something is stuck, that’s fine.  Then you want to take a spoon, invert it, put it on the back of your tongue, as far back as you can without gagging. You will have to experiment but you will gag once or twice and then press the inverted spoon on your tongue and scrap it forward, do that three or four times.  Now, you are going to be removing excess anaerobic bacteria and a lot of food products that are breaking down that will be the corporate of 90 percent of the corporate of bad breath.  So if you do that on your tongue and you clean at the gum line with the toothbrush and use the soft pick between the teeth, you are going to do anything and everything that you could possible do to make your mouth clean.

That’s important but it’s even more important to eat the right foods.  Let me give you an example. Do we have time?

Veronica: Yes, please.

Al: Right.  So there is a study, this is a great study that was done and it was published in the Journal of Periodontology which is a respectable journal and a doctor worked with ten individuals in Switzerland.  These individuals before the study was done, they had the gum bacteria cultured.  So the researchers cultured the types of bacteria around the gum and the tongue and then they checked the gum tissues to see how deep the gums were infected and if any bleeding was occurring in the gum tissue.  All that was documented.  Here is what they did, these ten individuals could not brush or floss for thirty days.  They were living in an environment in Switzerland that replicated what primitive people were exposed to 5700 years ago.  They could only eat the foods that they could gather and cook, they were given basic foods but they had no processed foods.  So there is no processed grains, there was no processed sugar.  They could only could eat what was on the land. After thirty days they have lots of dental plaque in their mouth. The cultures of the dental plaque did not have any ……. 0:27:47.7 and bacteria, amazing .  They examined the gum tissues, the gum pockets were more shallow statistically for every one of the ten individuals and the bleeding was reduced or nonexistent for every one of the ten individuals. Does that make sense? No, right?

Veronica: Not for what we were told and learned.

Al: So the reason is they ate a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory diet, it changed the gut bacteria and it changed mouth bacteria rapidly.  And it improved the health of the gum tissue immediately even though it caused lots of plaque to form, the plaque was not unhealthy.  Amazing.

Veronica: So let’s talk about eating and food because there is so much information out there about diets and what’s healthy and so it’s a problem because everybody has their idea and everybody has got a PhD and

Al: Because I don’t have a PhD that’s better.  I am not a nutritionist but let me tell you, I look at everything from a different perspective. I look at it from an evolutionary perspective. I am looking at our species evolving for two and a half years with hardly ever signs of dental decay or gum disease and we know that because of the anatomical remnants that we have.  And, ten thousand years or so ago we started to develop disease because of different changes in our diet, in the last a hundred and fifty years it has been going crazy and it’s because of the sugars and refined carbohydrates, specifically the grains.  So refined processed grains and all added sugars are the killers of our body.  It changes our gut bacteria, it creates chronic disease, we get periodontal disease and gum disease.  So what is a diet?  I am not talking about diet, I am talking about a lifestyle of eating, a healthy way of eating.  Nutrient dense foods consist of

Veronica: Go ahead, that’s what I wanted to get more very specific about this.

Al: Very specific, and I have a sheet of three pages that I will send anybody that wants a copy of it, a PDF, not a problem, I can sent it by email.  So you basically want to eat animal products that are grass fed or wild ….. 0:30:26.5.  You want to eat all forms of vegetables, all kinds of colors of vegetables especially the green leafy stuff.  You want to eat all kinds of fruits, especially the ones that are dark colored throughout like the berries.  You want to eat nuts and seeds.  Here is what you don’t want to eat, and it’s going to blow everybody away because this is what we eat every day.  If you eat six meals a day with snacks and everything you eat every day.  The worst foods are added sugars, any added sugars, not the sugar that is in a banana but added sugars and refined processed grains, that means, bread, crackers, cookies, pretzels, popcorn, you name it. If it’s delicious and you eat it all the time for snack, it’s probably a grain product. Why are the grains bad?  Well, the grains are bad because they are inflammatory because they create inflammation, they are not nutrient dense, they have almost no nutrients other than the chemicals that are added back to fortify these grains.  And they have chemicals that are called antinutrients that basically absorb minerals in your mouth and it strip the minerals.  So the minerals that you need to remineralize your teeth are being absorbed by the chemicals in the grains, the processed grains and excreted.

Veronica: Okay, so let me just ask the grain question because there are different types of grains that we get really specific especially when we are doing functional stuff about the different ones.  So when you say a grain, we consider wheat a grain, yeah?

Al: Yes

Veronica: I have read in some that if you are going to eat that it should be like rice better or sourdough or something like that.  What do you say about that.

Al: Here is the science.  Here is the science and you can make a decision.  There is a gentleman who is a physician and a researcher his name is Dr Alessio Fasano.  I think he is at Harvard now but I am not sure.  He is the one that did phenomenal research on Celiac disease and determined so much about grains.  Our human system has evolved phenomenally but we do not have the enzymes to break down grains specifically gluten but there are other grains that we don’t know about and if we cannot break these gluten molecules down they start to irritate the gut, not because it creates gas or bloating, although it can, it irritates the gut and it changes the bacteria in the gut and it makes little microscopic holes to form in the gut lining.  Once that happens, these proteins that have never been digested completely from the grains leak into the blood system.  Our blood system which is a marvelous army of generals and infantry start to fight all these unusual proteins and it creates an immune response, sometimes an auto of immune response because some these protein remnants look like the gum tissue or your thyroid or your joint in your arm and you develop periodontal disease or you develop hypothyroid Hashimoto’s disease or develop rheumatoid arthritis because your body is fighting this, multiple sclerosis.  There are so many diseases that are auto immune because of the damage that is occurring in the gut and one of the causes of the damage are the proteins and grains, specifically gluten, variety forms of gluten.  But, there are so many proteins that we don’t even know about. We are just finding this out now.  Science is great, we think we know everything today until tomorrow we learn that what we learned today was wrong.  So we are constantly educating ourselves but here is the important point, if you look at evolution, that’s the secret, that’s where the science meets the road.  That is where you know that if our bodies evolved for two and a half years and became as perfect as we are today, that’s the secret, we don’t want to disturb our genetic cord.  Don’t eat the foods that disturb your genetic cord.  Eat everything that you want that’s not going to damage your genetic code.  And what are they? They are animal products that are grass fed, not grain fed because when animals eat grains all the junk gets into their meat and there fat and we eat it, that’s not good.  So grass fed meat, wild common fish, the smaller the fish the better like salmons or sardines, all the shellfish are great, lots of vegetables, lots of healthy fruits especially the dark fruits and nuts and seeds and you are good to go.

Veronica: What about some of the other grains, so there is two that I want you to address  specifically, rice white and brown and then quinoa which is now ….

Al: So first of all quinoa is not a real grain, it’s called a pseudo grain so it’s a little different.  Grains are seeds of grasses, pseudo grains are seeds of broad leafed plants and they have different chemistry. Rice is probably not so bad especially white rice.  Brown rice, the covering of the brown rice unfortunately has this antinutrients that wheat has that can create other problems. Brown rice has problems because we have found, I have not found but science has found that some rice is really laden with arsenic.  So rice is not necessarily good and rice is innutritious, it’s all carbohydrates. So if you are interested in being a healthier person and you want to eat maybe a moderate to low carbohydrate diet, rice is not necessary.  There is no nutrients in any of the grains our body needs.  All the nutrients our body needs are in animal products, fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds.  And I would add other vegetables that you are not familiar with maybe that are even more healthy like seaweed.

Veronica: I definitely eat seaweed

Al: It’s great stuff

Veronica: The reason why I ask all these questions is because, you know, you are trying to figure out what is the right way to go and is, how much is too much or, you know, a lot of people.  There are some people like, you know, I have never been one of those people that is bread breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There are months where I didn’t even have bread in the house and, I figured out I was sensitive to wheat but it was so hard to figure it out because I didn’t keep around the …….. 0:37:56.2 all the time and then I figured out I was sensitive to it.  So the question is though that I figured out it was ……….. dependent and now I know what the symptoms are.  Okay, but how do you know, is any amount too much?  If you say, okay, you know, I am having one serving of grain a day, a real serving of grain.  Is that too much or is this very individual or would you say, you know, if you have decay you never can have a grain but if you don’t have any you can have it.  We are in this world, you want to feel like I want something sometime.  So when you are talking to somebody where they are having breakfast, lunch, the most common question my clients ask me is what do I eat for breakfast and I am like saying breakfast is easy, what are you talking about?  But in the American, the SAD, the sad diet, still the American diet is cereal, it’s muffins, its bagels, it’s, you know grain based a lot of the time.  Even people who are healthy are eating yogurt  with granola and stuff like that.

Al: And they are eating yogurt that is sweetened with sugar.  So you know this is not the way to go.  Let me go back and help clarify what you just said.  How much, is everybody an individual, yes, everybody is an individual.  So what affects me won’t affect you but some things are going to affect everybody.  Everybody is affected by grains, gluten, everybody, it’s our degree.  And then you said well, you can have a little bit but not too much.  Here is the interesting thing but the sad thing, it’s cumulative, and it is cumulative not over weeks or months or years, it’s over decades.  So a person that is eating an unhealthy standard American diet when they are ten years old, they are health, their waist is so skinny and they are athletic and everything is great, their skin is clear, I mean, everything is great.  Then when they are getting into their twenties or their thirties and they are still eating their fast food meals two or three times a day and all these, you know, they have maybe another inch in their waist, it’s not a big deal but, you know, why is that happening.  And then maybe they get to thirty five years old and their gums are bleeding and they have maybe a little joint problem all of a sudden they are forty years old and their blood pressure is a little higher than it ever was and maybe they just had a blood test and they think maybe your sugar is a little high and then they are fifty and oh, my God, I think I am getting rheumatoid arthritis and they get a blood test and it turns out they are tied to diabetes. And how did this happen all of a sudden?  It didn’t.  It started when they were ten and the sad thing is, I tell my patients and I start my lectures basically by saying if a train was coming at you would you get off the tracks?  The question is such an open question because, yeah, I would get off the tracks when it’s almost on top of me.  But that’s the problem, know a disease is coming down the tracks, if you are smart enough to be aware of it early enough in life and that’s what I want to try to get young people to understand, just make a change of them. And I have got to tell you, I am a hundred percent eating nutrients and anti-inflammatory foods. I have only been doing it for four year.  I had a stroke when I was fifty nine years old, I am almost seventy.  I didn’t even understand what healthy nutrition was until I was sixty six.  So I didn’t start eating healthy but I have changed my entire life.  I have lost almost thirty five pounds, I have never gone on a diet, I have just eaten healthier.  When you eat healthier your hormones get balanced, your hunger disappears, the craving for bagels, which I always had, disappeared but it took three or four weeks.  There was withdrawal, withdrawal from these carbohydrates but you will feel great.

Veronica: Now, one of the common surprises that my clients tell me about is that when I put them on a plan, pretty quickly they are not hungry, pretty quickly they are not hungry like they were before and the second thing that happens, if they really adhere is the cravings go away.

Al: That’s right

Veronica: But, what is challenging is figuring out well, what do I replace it with but of course, you know, that’s kind of the counseling that we give in functional, here is what you do instead, try this instead of that and you make little changes at a time and then the habits are there when you understand what it is.  But, it is also how, you know, we went to holidays and people are like ok, was the holiday that I would like to enjoy myself a little bit and I like this or that.  So that’s why I am saying, how much is too much, can you do a little whatever. So what cumulative means, yeah, you can sometimes but for most people the problem is they have been doing it so crazy that any amount is problematic and that sounds like what you are saying because they have been going crazy all the time.

Al: It is true but let me just mention an analogy that I know you can relate to and that is if a person has an allergic reaction penicillin, could they say, well, you know, I am just going to take one capsule, what happens.  They may have an anaphylactic shock.  Your body is already sensitized to these bad things.  If you eat gluten, your body will take two to three months for the immune reaction to go away.  Two or three months from one bagel, oh my god.  So can you do it?  You can do anything you want.  I mean, people do anything they want.  People smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a day, some people do.  I mean, if they want to do it, they do it, right? I am not going to change their mind.  I can’t motivate them, I can only give them information.  I can tell them what I have done for myself.  I can show them, I can show them a picture of what I looked like four years ago and what I look like today.  I can show my athletic exuberance, I mean I am healthier today than I have ever been.  I have an exercise program, I do all the time.  I mean, I walk five miles a day.  I do ten thousand steps a day.  I do intensive interval training. I do weight body, arm training.

Veronica: Are you doing insanity like me?

Al: Huh?

Veronica: Are you doing insanity like I am?

Al: Insanity is too much oxidative stress.  If you can do high intensity interval training for ten to fifteen minutes once a day, once a week.  You can do body weight training for ten to fifteen minutes once a day, twice a week and you will physically be healthier than if you trained with intensity training. I have seen these crazy people doing that, I mean, it’s painful, I don’t know.

Veronica: It doesn’t have to be painful, I mean I am doing insanity

Al: No

Veronica: But what I am saying is that I think that, you know, we are genetic difference too

Al: Yes

Veronica: So different, and I have my 23andME test and they said, here the kind of muscle bla bla bla, but then I have another program that says, here is based on your genetic code what is likely to be what you need to do for exercise, what you need to do for

Al: Let me mention one thing about this.  Let me mention one thing, 23andME is great if you want to learn your genetic code.  Does your genetic code matter?  The science says that the epigenetics, the things in your environment, ninety percent of what is in your environment and what you eat controls the expression of your genes.  So ten percent genetic but ninety percent the way you live.  So if you have a genetic predisposition to cancer but you are eating healthy and you are excising properly, you probably will not get cancel.  How do you know?  I don’t know, you …. 0:46:45.8.  But, if you genes were telling you, let’s say, that you have a genetic predisposition to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism let’s say or rheumatoid arthritis but you are eating and you are creating a lifestyle that’s healthy, you most likely will never get that disease.

Veronica: Yes.  But, what I am pointing out is not, I understand about epigenetics and thank you for educating the audience on that. But I am talking that, just think about something like the Blue Zones where people were eating different styles but not processed foods.  So what I am talking about is what is the correct balance based on your genetic code.  See what I am saying.  So what are you?  Are you a Kenyan runner marathoner or are you a sprinter?  Which works better?  So for instance the code set for me eat more protein, eat less fat, you know what I am saying, the ration is a little bit different.  So that is the kind of information I tell about using, you tend to be, you don’t process vitamin D as well, you don’t process vitamin B12 as well. So what does it mean if I don’t process as well, it means, I mean, I need more B12.  So that is the type of information I telling that makes your generic difference and so guess what, you need to do vigorous exercise because that what you are genetically programed to keep you the most healthy where somebody else they need to be doing Zen yoga, very slow movement or more resistance.  So that’s what I am talking about.

Al: I am in agreement, certainly I am in agreement with those genetic strengths and weaknesses,

Veronica: So I think it’s a good idea, it’s interesting that I kind of

Al: But it is more for fun than necessary because if you are a nutrient dense in anti-inflammatory diet and you are living a healthy lifestyle with reduction of stress and good sleep and efficient exercise, you are going to do what your body needs to do.  Our primal ancestors never knew the difference between macronutrients and a MacDonald’s hamburger.  I mean they just didn’t know the difference of those things.  They ate when they were hungry, they stopped when they were not hungry.  They drank when they were thirsty and they did not drink when they were not thirsty and they didn’t say oh, I need to have eight glasses of water a day which is not necessarily true.  You drink when you are thirsty, you eat when you are hungry.  If you are not hungry for breakfast don’t eat breakfast.  If you are not hungry until dinner then wait until dinner.

Veronica: Yes, yes got it.  so well, we can sit here and really talk all day, however, I really thank you for giving information.  I always like to use some things that are happening to me, here, use me as the case study.

Al: I love it, I love it

Veronica: Use me as the case study

Al: And I love your energy, I love your energy.

Veronica: Well, I appreciate it and, oh, you have to tell us one more thing before we leave.  If we want to find dentists who are more holistic, who we are going to go to and they are going to give us advice that we can feel good about because it is not going to be just drill fill and bill.  Where do we find those types of dentists?

Al: Okay, so here is some organizations they can up on the internet and put their zip codes in and they will find dentists in their area.  So there is an organization called the Holistic Dental Association.  There is another organization called the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.  There is another one called the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine.  And there is a fourth one that is interesting, it’s called the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry.  Those four organizations have dentists that are part of these organizations that promote a healthier way of doing dentistry.

Veronica: Okay, Biomemitc, spell that?

Al: Biomimetic

Veronica: Wonderful

Al: And anybody that has a question for me they can go to my website, it’s and by the way, I have a book that is coming out July 15th called Crazy Good Living. It’s going to be published by Electro Press and I am really excited about it.

Veronica: Wonderful.  Dr. Al Dananberg, mwaaah, thank you for the information. I appreciate it.  We will have to have you back on because your worth of knowledge in all kinds of areas and, you know, anybody who questions they want to ask about dentistry, send them to me, send them to on my contact form and, you know, click send, post it on my Facebook page and we will bring all these wonderful people back to give us more information because this is what we do, life purpose. Thank you Dr. Al Dananberg

Al: You are very welcome, it’s been fun.

Female VO: Thank you for listening for the Wellness Revolution podcast.  If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into you live visit See you all next week, take care.


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Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.

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